The Valiants suffered their first defeat of the 2019/20 season the hands of Grimsby Town this afternoon.
The game started out in a stop and start manner with both teams drawing multiple fouls and struggling to get going and create a clear cut opportunity.
After the 12 minutes however, Vale were able to find a breakthrough as Leon Legge capitalised on a goalmouth scramble following an in-swinging free-kick by Tom Conlon.
Conlon’s ball was originally missed by the first few men before a number of bodies attacked the ball, and it seemed as though Legge got the most contact, throwing himself at the ball, before both sides tried to get a foot on the ball as it found its way over the line with the defender wheeling away in celebration.
The goal seemed to jar the hosts into action, with them starting a period of attacking play which lead to a free-kick for a high-boot by Richie Bennett on the edge of the box.
The Mariners were able to then draw level from the set piece, as Moses Ogbu laid the ball off to Jordan Cook who drilled a low effort towards goal and into the bottom corner in the 20th minute.
After 10 minutes of end to end play, David Worrall nearly put Vale back in front, after a good move between Tom Conlon, James Gibbons and himself lead to a Worrall strike from 25-yards that just went over the bar.
The Mariners had the first opportunity of the second-period, as a ball over the top of the defence was picked up by Ogbu whose half-volley fizzed just over Scott Brown’s bar.
Grimsby’s pressure would pay off just one minute later as Vale struggled to clear the ball and winger Moses Ogbu thundered the ball into the back of the net to put the hosts in front.
As the Valiants looked to get back into the game they were caught on the counter as Matt Green broke away from the Vale defence and slotted the ball into the back of the net to double his sides lead in the 57thminute.
The two goal lead did not last long however, as just four minutes later Nathan Smith was able to get his first goal of the season and pull John Askey’s side back into the game.
Once again a Tom Conlon free-kick caused problems for the Mariners, as his ball into the box was headed down by substitute Mark Cullen and Smith was there to pick up the ball and find the bottom right corner from just inside the box.
With 10 minutes left to play, the Mariners increased their lead, as a well worked corner saw Hewitt deliver a dangerous ball which Luke Waterfall met with a bullet header to score his sides fourth goal.
In the 86th minute James Hanson got the hosts fifth goal after the ball was pulled back to him and he drilled the ball into the bottom corner.
Grimsby Town: McKeown, Hendrie, Davis (45’ Pollock), Waterfall, Cook, Hewitt, Whitehouse (81’ Wright), Hassenthaler, Green (59’ Clifton), Ogbu, Hanson.
Unused Subs: Ring, Vernam, Cardwell, Russell.
Port Vale: Brown, Gibbons, Smith, Legge, Crookes, Conlon, Joyce, Worrall (Campbell-Gordon), Amoo, Ryan Lloyd (56’ Cullen), Bennett (65’ Pope).
Unused Subs: Maddison, Evans, Burgess, Kennedy.